On October 12th, 29 first-and-second year graduate physical therapy students spent their Saturday providing blood pressure and balance screenings to 114 Savannah community members as part of two National PT Day of Service events.
The Day of Service is organized by the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia and the American Physical Therapy Association as part of National Physical Therapy Month. The 5-hour long events took place at the Southwest Branch of Live Oak Public Library and the Forsyth Farmers’ Market and were organized by Haley Worst, PT, DPT, OCS, assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences.
“I chose to volunteer because the profession that I am working towards does not stop outside the hours of 9-5. Physical therapy is meant to be a continual effort to serve the community in the best way that one can,” stated Luke Thayer, a second-year DPT student. ” A lot of citizens are not informed of the benefits of physical therapy and do not realize that we treat more than post-operative individuals and sports injuries. We are musculoskeletal experts and can facilitate an increase in one’s wellness by improving function, movement, balance and decreasing pain,” stated the Grayson, Georgia, native.
Students were enthusiastic about the community’s response to the events and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with people from the community while providing each participant a meaningful healthcare service.
“I enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with the community, apply the skills I have learned so far and being able to continue to develop my personal communication skills,” stated first-year student Jacob Gross from Thomaston, Georgia.
Second year DPT student Alicia Connolly from Dacula, Georgia, chose to participate in the PT Day of Service event as a way to make a contribution to the community and get hands-on experience. “The event gave me an opportunity to assess people and talk with them about their health which will help better my skill set for when I am actually working and treating patients.”
In addition to Georgia Southern student volunteers, several current and retired physical therapy faculty members assisted in the event. Participating faculty included Worst, Sharan Zirges, PT, DPT, MSHA, Andi Beth Mincer, PT, Ed.D., and Professor Emeritus Anne Thompson.
The Physical Therapy program at Georgia Southern University is a full-time doctoral program housed in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. The program consists of nine semesters of academic coursework, including three full-time clinical affiliations and several additional clinical experiences.
This past August, Georgia Southern University graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDS) program had the opportunity to partner with Georgia Relay and Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GCDHH) for a Bingo Bash Hearing Loss Lunch and Learn in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The event was held to address hearing loss in the aging population. Graduate students provided attendees with hearing screenings, discussed hearing loss prevention and provided a presentation on age-related hearing loss. Participants of this event enjoyed riveting games of Bingo, won prizes, enjoyed a delicious lunch and learned about the many different services Georgia Relay, Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Georgia Southern University have to offer.
The Waters College of Health Professions is excited to welcome Walter L. Jenkins, PT, MS, LAT, ATC, DHS to Georgia Southern University. On July 1, Dr. Jenkins began his new role as professor and department chair for Department of Rehabilitation Sciences.
Dr. Jenkins has been a faculty member and administrator for over 30 years serving at Nazareth College, East Carolina University, the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Indianapolis. Throughout his academic career Dr. Jenkins has been active in teaching and curriculum development, administration, and service. His research focus is epidemiology and prevention of athletic injury. He has continued to be clinically active throughout his career by serving as a physical therapy consultant to university athletic programs and local clinics. Dr. Jenkins is very active in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) where he currently serves as academy president (2016-2022). In 2010, Dr. Jenkins received the AASPT’s Ron Peyton Award and was inducted into the AASPT Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in 2012.